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ESF initiative to re-energise mathematics teaching

August 30, 2008 Mathematics is the only truly universal language. It describes the world and facilitates the vast majority of our advances in understanding. Mathematics underpins education: the only surefire cure to the world’s ills. Mathematics teaching is as vital as ever both in support of key fields such as life sciences, alternative energy development, or information technology, and also through its unique ability to develop problem solving skills. It should be highly relevant not just for the elite few but for all people in education. Recent research has shown that school students’ mathematical achievement is directly influenced by the students’ beliefs about mathematics and its teaching, teachers’ beliefs about mathematics and its teaching, and the ways in which teachers initiate and sustain learning opportunities. An attempt to re-energise mathematics teaching in Europe is being made in a new European Science Foundation (ESF) project examining a range of factors thought to influence achievement.  Read More

Plastic Active-Matrix SVGA flexible e-paper Display

December 6, 2005 Plastic electronics developer Plastic Logic has developed the world's largest flexible organic active matrix display. The display consists of a flexible, high resolution, printed active-matrix backplane driving an electronic paper frontplane from E Ink Corporation. The display will be publicly shown at the 12th International Displays Workshop in Takamatsu, Japan tomorrow. The displays are 10" diagonal SVGA (600 by 800) with 100ppi resolution and 4 levels of greyscale. The thickness of the display when laminated with E Ink Imaging Film is less than 0.4mm. The backplane substrate is made from low temperature PET supplied by DuPont Teijin Films which is more flexible and easier to handle than alternatives such as thin glass or steel foil.  Read More

After you read this, you will know less ...

August 9, 2005 Even the most ignorant cannot know less than nothing. After all, negative knowledge makes no sense. But, although this may be true in the everyday world we are accustomed to, it has been discovered that negative knowledge does exist in the quantum world. Small objects such as atoms, molecules and electrons behave radically different than larger objects -- they obey the laws of quantum mechanics. What could negative knowledge possibly mean? In short, after I tell you negative information, you will know less. Such strange situations can occur because what it means to know something is very different in the quantum world. In the quantum world, we can know too much, and it is in these situations where one finds negative knowledge. Negative knowledge (or more precisely negative information) turns out to be precisely the right amount to cancel the fact that we know too much. While all this might appear to be very mysterious, negative information can be put on a rigorous footing as can be found by visiting the homepage of quantum physicist, Jonathan Oppenheim at Cambridge University.  Read More

The Silent Aircraft initiative

March 28 2005 The Cambridge-MIT Institute has begun a fascinating initiative that brings together leading academics from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with leaders in the civil aerospace and aviation industry to develop the design for a plane that is radically quieter than current passenger aircraft. CMI’s ‘Silent Aircraft’ project has a bold aim: to discover ways to reduce aircraft noise dramatically, to the point where it would be virtually unnoticeable to people outside the airport perimeter. This initiative is bringing together leading academics from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with representatives from all parts of the civil aerospace/aviation industry. This unique community will be working together, sharing knowledge and developing the design for an aircraft whose noise emissions would barely be heard above the background noise level in a typical built-up area.  Read More

Holographic projection coming to laptops, PDAs and mobile phones

A new ground-breaking holographic 2D projection technology could result in a new generation of pocket-sized digital video projectors and miniature projection displays incorporated into other handheld devices. Digital video projectors produce large, high quality images are becoming increasingly popular as they grow cheaper with mass production, but the technology is limited in its miniaturisation, preventing projectors from being incorporated mobile device markets. Holographic projection of 2D (rather than 3D) images represents a compelling alternative to conventional image projection. Video projectors based on this holographic technology can be made very small so a projector could be integrated into a laptop, a PDA, or even a mobile phone.  Read More

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